Sporting Chance Forum

ILO welcomes commitment to establishing Centre for Sport & Human Rights

UN agencies – including the ILO – human rights groups, athletes, employers’ and trade union organizations, governments and others, commit to setting up a centre tasked with helping tackle human rights risks associated with sports. The ILO welcomed the announcement, made at a November 30-December 1, 2017 meeting in Geneva.

News | 30 November 2017
© Rogrigo Soldon
GENEVA (ILO News) – The ILO has welcomed a commitment by an international coalition to set up a centre that will work to prevent, mitigate and remedy human rights risks associated with sports.

“I wish to commend the efforts of all stakeholders who have come to such substantive commitment together,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

Ryder was among the speakers at the opening of the two-day Sporting Chance Forum in Geneva, where sports stakeholders announced their commitment to setting up a Centre for Sports and Human Rights in 2018.

The announcement was made by the Steering Committee of the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights, an alliance that includes UN agencies – including the ILO – governments, sports bodies, athletes, hosts, sponsors, broadcasters, civil society representatives, trade unions and employers and their organizations, and human rights groups.

The centre would support the efforts of various stakeholders, as well as individuals from affected and potentially affected groups.

“Past experience has shown that major sporting events can be associated with serious human rights abuses if not managed properly”

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

“Past experience has shown that major sporting events can be associated with serious human rights abuses if not managed properly,” said Ryder. “Together, we can prevent, or at least mitigate these risks so that these events fulfill their full potential to positively impact people’s lives – by delivering not only entertainment, but by generating decent jobs.”

In his address at the Forum, Ryder highlighted the achievements of the Platform collectively, and its members individually, in advancing human rights in sports.

He also recalled that the ILO signed an agreement earlier in November with the Government of Qatar – which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup – to implement a three-year technical cooperation programme to improve compliance with international labour standards and protect the rights of migrant workers in Qatar.

The Steering Committee of the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights is made up of representatives of: adidas Group, Amnesty International, BT plc, Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), The Coca-Cola Company,  Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Football Supporters Europe, Government of Switzerland, Government of the United States of America, Human Rights Watch, International Labour Organization (ILO), International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Organisation of Employers (IOE), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), New Zealand Human Rights Commission, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Terre des Hommes, Transparency International Germany, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), and the World Players Association, UNI Global Union.